The taxonomy of cows are as follows: Kingdom: Animalia. Phylum: Chordata. Class: Mammalia. Order: Artiodactyla. Family: Bovidae. Genus: Bos. Species: indicus or taurus. (Unknown author. “www.usask.ca/wcvm/kelsey/part2/chinfo12.pdf”)
The cow has four stomachs. The first stomach is called the rumen which is the biggest with a volume of 40-50 gallons. In the digestive system of the rumen there billions of microorganisms, which are responsible for digesting and utilizing nutrients in the feed. The process of fermentation happens in the rumen and reticulum. The reticulum is the second stomach.
Fermentation is when the microorganisms turn carbohydrates into fatty acids and gases. This process turns the cellulosic fibers into energy. 20-40% of the gases produced during fermentation consist of methane and carbon dioxide. The gases produced by fermentation gases are expelled by belching but when belching is impossible cows can suffer from bloat.
Bloat is a serious condition where cattle graze on high legume content such as clover, medics or lucerne. Legumes have natural foaming agents which can trap the gases in little bubbles in the rumen which is on the left side of the cows’ stomach. Since the gases are caught in the little bubbles in the foam the cow cannot belch the gases out causing the bloat to occur. Pressure the. Builds up causing swelling on the left side of the body.
Some obvious signs of bloat are the...
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... of America. (Welch, Bob. Retrieved from, www.americancowboy.com/article/top-5-beef-cattle-breeds-24440)
Cattle farms make up a great deal of the United States with 619,172 beef cattle farms(USDA 2012 Ag Census). The beef cattle industry has an economic impact of $88.25 billion(USDA ERS 2014). (Unknown author. Retrieved from, www.beefusa.org/beefindustrystatistics.aspx)
Cows of all different shapes, sizes, and colors make up a lot of the world’s food industry. People drink milk, which there are other animals that produce milk but cows milk is used and sold in most supermarkets around. Many people consume beef which there is a lot produced in America. Before receiving this topic I had no idea that there were more than just cows with four stomachs. I am glad I now understand a lot of the cycle of digestion a ruminant undergoes just to eat grass.
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